What number ! This Wednesday, Adam Siao Him Fa took the lead in the European Figure Skating Championships after a perfectly executed short program. With a score of 96.53 points, Siao Him Fa broke his personal best thanks in particular to two quadruple jumps passed without incident. Before the free program on Friday, the recent French champion has a comfortable lead of more than ten points over his first pursuer, the Italian Matteo Rizzo (86.46 pts).
In the absence of the defending champion, the Russian Mark Kondratuik suspended due to the war in Ukraine, the title seems more accessible than ever for the recent champion of France. Especially since the Italian favorite Daniel Grassl, vice-champion of Europe in title, was relegated to eighth place, the fault of a quadruple lutz not engaged. “I’m very happy with what I did, I was very stressed but once the music started I breathed hard and relaxed“said Siao Him Fa, 21, who remained measured about his goals, however.
“My goal is to skate flawlessly and if I can get a podium that would be great, but I try not to think about that too much.“, he added to our microphone. He will start in last position on Friday for his free program, which has the particularity of being part of the continuity of the court, an innovative artistic choice in skating. The other Committed Frenchman, Kevin Aymoz, is also in the race for the podium after the court.
With 83.75 points, he occupies the fourth provisional rank, only one length behind the third, Deniss Vasiljevs (84.81 pts).
“That’s the game !”
Back from an ankle injury, Aymoz perfectly executed his quadruple jump at the start of the program before being penalized by a missed triple axel and could not hide his frustration at the end of his performance. “I was ready, I was excited, and then I hit a hole in the ice“, he explained. “That’s the game! I don’t like it but that’s how it is. With a program like that, I should have been on the podium on the court. I’m sad, but I’ll be fine.”
On the poster of this first day of competition also appeared the short program of the couples, where the French Camille and Pavel Kovalev can also aim for a medal. The Kovalevs, who have been together since 2014 and tied the knot in 2017, scored 62.46 points while skating to a medley by American singer Billie Eilish.
A clear round, 10 points ahead, personal best: Siao Him Fa’s big number
The double champions of France, who won their first Grand Prix podium this winter in Angers, are only 31 hundredths from third place before the free program on Thursday. “I made a mistake on the triple toe loop but I said to myself ‘come on, it doesn’t matter‘” commented Camille Kovalev, who revealed that she injured her foot last week.
“We weren’t even sure we could come (to the European Championships) so it was a pleasure to skate today (Wednesday, editor’s note).” The Italians Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii lead the competition with 70.45 points, ahead of the Germans Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel (67.08 pts) and their compatriots Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert (62.77 pts ).